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A weekly look at creativity, arts, and culture in southwest Michigan, hosted by Zinta Aistars.Fridays in Morning Edition at 7:50am and at 4:20pm during All Things Considered.

Art Beat: Cozy Mysteries

Kensington Press

Cozy mysteries — they're the kind that you can snuggle up with on a rainy night and read into morning hours without inviting nightmares. So says Indiana native, and New York Times bestselling author, Kate Collins. She’s the author of the well-loved "Flower Shop Mysteries" series.

“There are 19 'Flower Shop Mysteries' and two novellas,” says Collins. “I’ve also written seven historical romances and I just turned in the second book in my new mystery series, The 'Goddess of Greene Street Mysteries.' So, I’m starting book number 31.”

A conversation with Kate Collins

Collins says the new series should be out end of January 2020, published by Kensington Press. It's based on a “zany” Greek family.

For collins, being so prolific, “is a discipline and a joy. I enjoy writing. I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t create. I have a very active imagination.”

Credit Kensington Press
Kensington Press

But Collins’ first love was teaching. She taught elementary school for six years but quit when she had her first child. It was then that she turned to writing as an outlet for her energy and her love of telling stories, including stories for kids.

Collins will be a featured speaker at the 2019 Southwest Michigan Writers’ Conference at the Niles District Library. She'll speak about how to write great dialogue.

“A hint on creating great dialogue: listen!” Collins says. “So many people write their dialogue but they don’t listen to it. You have to hear the way people talk. I spend a lot of time listening to people talk at a mall or a restaurant. A lot of writers eavesdrop. When we recreate it on the page; it doesn’t sound perfect.”

The conference opens at 9 a.m., Saturday, October 26, for same-day registration. Sessions start at 10:15 a.m. Other speakers this year include best-selling author K.B. Jensen, who'll present “Ten Rules for Writing Fiction, And When to Break Them,” and Kalamazoo-area writer and illustrator Angela Sisk. Sisk, the creator of the fantasy web comic “Numina,” who will talk about the art of comic book writing. The conference is free and open to the public.

Listen to WMUK's Art Beat every Friday at 7:50 a.m. and 4:20 p.m.

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Zinta Aistars is our resident book expert. She started interviewing authors and artists for our Arts & More program in 2011.
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